The wedding venue plays a vital role in the overall ambiance of the event. If the venue, the overall theme and the décor flow well together, the atmosphere at your wedding will be welcoming, interesting and unique. Most couples choose traditional wedding venues like halls, churches and gardens, but it doesn’t hurt to think out-of-the-box.
If you want your wedding to be memorable and interesting, you should consider non-traditional options. There’s something out there for every budget, preference and requirement; you just need to find it. The recommendations mentioned below will make finding the right fit a little easier for you.
Outdoor wedding venues
Outdoor weddings have their own unique charm. The environment is free, open, social and bright. You can get married surrounded by greenery and nature, in a bright and cheerful morning sky or under the starlit evening sky. There is no shortage of nature’s beauty in Australia, so you’re sure to find a special and beautiful venue for your wedding. Here are some options for you to consider:
- Glen Erin at Lancefield – What can be more romantic than getting married in a vineyard? You can enjoy excellent wines, wonderful food and stunning scenery at once. The vineyard is also a great backdrop for wedding photographs, so all your wedding pictures will look stunning and unique. The Glen Erin vineyard is located at the foothills of the Macedon Ranges and is merely 35 minutes away from the Melbourne airport.
- Kingfisher Bay Resort – Imagine a beautiful wedding with a gorgeous backdrop of crystal clear blue sea and white sand. That’s exactly what you get at Kingfisher Bay resort. This venue is an excellent choice for people who are willing to splurge on a destination wedding and want to make it a day/night event. The resort is located on Fraser Island, which is listed as a World Heritage site. You can host 250+ guests at this beach-front location, so it’s ideal for people who want a great outdoor wedding to enjoy with their family and friends.
- Longitude 131° – Australia is known for its outback and rugged natural beauty, so why not make this beauty a part of your wedding memories? Longitude 131° provides an immersive wedding experience. You can enjoy the comfort of luxury tented pavilions and the flavour of expertly prepared food and drinks in this ancient and majestic land. You can get married with the mighty Uluru in the background and share the cultural heritage and history of this place with your family and friends on your special day.
- Orso Bayside reception – Not everyone wants to travel all the way to Ayer’s Rock for a wedding ceremony. Some couples prefer a more modern and less rugged style of wedding and the Orso Bayside option is ideal for them. This is a waterfront wedding reception venue. You can enjoy ample natural light, watch the boats travel on the water and enjoy the constant flow of movement here. This venue can accommodate 250. This venue overlooks the Sydney Harbour and beach
- Terara Riverside Gardens – There’s something very charming and old-school about garden weddings. You’re surrounded by greenery and flowers in full bloom, sheltered by large and ancient trees and get married under a bright blue or starlit sky. The Terara Riverside Gardens are located 2 hours away from Sydney by the Shoalhaven River in Terara. The location ensures this place is private, quiet and undisturbed. You can have an intimate and beautiful ceremony here.
Unusual wedding venues
Outdoor weddings are wonderful, but some couples want something more on their special day. Australia has so many places that can offer unique and interesting wedding experiences. If you want your wedding ceremony to be truly memorable, you should consider the locations mentioned below:
- St Josephs Guesthouse – This venue is located in Sydney and was a place of worship at one point in time. The owners transformed this Catholic Church into a guesthouse and it became one of the most unusual and interesting wedding venues in Sydney. This location is perfect for a small, intimate wedding with just close friends and family.
- The Yard at The Lock Up – Ever wanted to get married at a police station and an old prison property? This venue was Newcastle’s Police Station from 1861 to 1982 which lends it a unique vibe. The venue is modern and has all the comforts you can expect from wedding venues, but it certainly has an entirely different vibe to it. You can see traces of the old graffiti and have to pass through a solid iron gate to enter the property. Your wedding will certainly be memorable if you have here.
- Shene Estate & Distillery – This venue provides a truly unique and customised wedding experience. It is located in Southern Tasmania, so it’s far removed from the crowd and noise of the city. The owners work with local vendors to provide the best meals and an intimate atmosphere. This is an excellent venue for people who want something private and beautiful in a rustic setting.
- The Apple Shed – The Apple Shed is also located in Southern Tasmania and is a large barn. It has a bar, cafe, museum and an expansive outdoor area. This outdoor area has a roof and fire pit, so you’ll be very comfortable and warm in this place. The Apple Shed also provides excellent food and some truly spectacular cider.
- Glasshaus Inside – If you want a venue that’s located in the city and isn’t as rustic, you should consider the Glasshaus Inside. Essentially it is an urban warehouse plant nursery with an industrial vibe and plenty of potted plants. It’s located near Melbourne CBD and is easily accessible. Your guests won’t have any problems trying to find a comfortable place to stay for the wedding.
Reception wedding venues
If you plan to have an actual wedding in a church or other such locations, you don’t need to spend money on a venue that provides both. Here are some venues that host only receptions:
- Villa Blanca – Villa Blanca is conveniently located in the heart of Bankstown and can easily house over 400 guests, which makes it a good option for large weddings. The venue has a very modern and sophisticated vibe with the best lighting, audio-systems and ample parking space. Your guests will be happy, comfortable and have a great time.
- Colbee Centre – This is a highly rated reception venue and has been voted the best in NSW for the 5th It’s located in Nurragingy Reserve and has a man-made dock, fountain, ample greenery and landscape and even a hardwood dance floor with fairy lights. This reception venue is perfect for a light-hearted and playful wedding.
- Manly Golf Club – The Australian Bridal Industry Association once voted that the Manly Golf Club was the best reception location in NSW. This venue certainly hasn’t lost any of its charm since then. It was established back in 1903, so it has a traditional and elegant vibe to it. The wedding reception is open to members as well as non-members.
Intimate wedding venues
Not only are small weddings with a limited number of guests affordable, they’re also easier to organise. You just need to arrange for transport and accommodation for a select number of people. Smaller weddings are also more intimate and personal. The focus is on the couple instead of the party and entertainment. This adds a new meaning to the entire ceremony. Here are some venues that can fit in perfectly with the intimate wedding vibe:
- The Boat House – The Boat House is located in Barton, Canberra and provides a beautiful and intimate setting. The venue sits on the shore of a lake, has parklands and is only minutes away from the city. The atmosphere here is quiet and serene, which makes it the ideal place for intimate weddings. The location is beautiful and the food is excellent so your family and friends will truly enjoy themselves at this location.
- Dunbar House – Dunbar House is small, elegant, and charming. It can easily house 110 guests and provides a welcoming atmosphere to all. You can enjoy great views of the Sydney Harbour, soak in the serenity of the property and exchange your wedding vows under an ancient fig tree in the yard.
- Glengariff Historic Estate – This is one of the oldest estates in Australia and the oldest in Queensland. The property has been around for over 130 years and has hosted several weddings in its lifetime. On an average, it hosts around 150 events each year, with great success. Visitors call the estate a photographer’s paradise because there are over 30 different locations that can provide excellent photography opportunities. This property can house 20 to 200 guests comfortably so your wedding can be as intimate or grand as you want it to be.
- Allegro Function Centre – This venue is located in the Hills District close to Sydney and sits on 5 acres of lush green landscaping. You can enjoy gorgeous bushland views, peer up at large ancient trees and start your new life surrounded by nature. The venue is a beautiful Mediterranean villa with high ceilings, a large fireplace, exposed wood and lime-washed walls. The venue has a very rustic yet elegant ambiance to it.
How to book a wedding venue
Most wedding venues allow online reservations or have customer care numbers. All you need to do is contact them via their website or on their listed number to know more about the reservation process. Here are some things you should keep in mind.
- Decide your budget – You can have a beautiful wedding ceremony at a wonderful location without burning a hole in your pocket. When you’re planning your wedding, make a list of priorities and determine where your venue ranks on the list. If it’s somewhere near the top, you can assign a larger budget to it.
- Time – Most wedding venues expect you to book date months in advance, especially if you want to get married during the wedding season. It’s a good idea to start making your enquiries about 6 to 8 months in advance. If you intend to get married during spring or summer, you might want to start making enquiries earlier. All the venues mentioned on this list are quite popular so they won’t sit vacant for too long.
- Decide what you want – Before you choose the venue, decide what kind of wedding theme you want. Do you prefer a small ceremony with just a handful of family and friends or a grand event at a vineyard? Would you prefer being in the comfort of an indoor location or want to savour the beauty of the outdoors? Discuss this with your partner and decide which theme best suits you.
- Look at reviews – It’s a good idea to look at reviews, articles, pictures and other sources of information to create a shortlist of possibilities. You won’t have time to tour and inspect a large number of venues when you are planning your wedding. Once you’ve created the shortlist, you can contact the venue.
- Prepare a list of questions – Be prepared with a list of questions regarding the venue location, capacity, food, music arrangements, decor options, parking space, etc. You should also ask for a quote and make sure all expenses are included and described in the quote. You can compare the cost estimate from different venues carefully and determine what suits your requirements and budget best.
- Tour the place – Narrow the list down further and tour the venues at your convenience. You can look at places that provide a good backdrop for photographs, consider where you’ll exchange vows and other such factors.
You should also take the time to understand the terms and conditions related to bookings, fees, cancellations, etc, before you make your choice. Reading the fine print will help you avoid problems later.